This is what can happen if you engage in a bit of light hearted social media banter with some friends from your cycling club.
Brompton recently held their 2015 World Championships in London and as a new Brompton owner this year, I entered. My run of luck with balloted events (see Ride London, London Marathon etc etc) continued and I didn't get a place.
This coincided with a bit of banter between friends on the subject of folding bike races and we ended up running our own event.
Taking the dress code from the Brompton World Champs, opening the entry to any folder or collapsible with wheels smaller than 24" and adapting the format to a simple 7.1 mile time trial on a well used local course we had an event on our hands.
The final piece, and the bit that I think makes this race unique, is finishing it off by making a cup of tea.
With riders being friends from Colchester Rovers, Manningtree Wheelers, Amis Velo RT and Re-Cycle Colchester there was no entry fee, although voluntary donations were left for Re-Cycle to help with their work in providing serviceable bikes to communities in Africa where they can make a massive difference
At the start, riders set off at one minute intervals. They were counted down by the starter and at that point they were able to unfold and set off. Everything required to make a cup of tea had to be carried on the 7.1 mile lap of the Jock Wadley Memorial Road Race circuit.
On completion of the lap, riders refolded their machines and brewed up, the finishing time taken at the moment a cuppa was presented to the timekeeper.
What made this race special? It was pure fun. All the competitors hurt themselves as much they would have done in any other event but I have never seen quite so many smiles from spectators, officials and participants at any other bike race.
The variety of bikes surprised me - from the smallest wheeled machine, Ian Fox's Carry Me to Kenny Baker's Moulton Stowaway (the hardest bike to assemble) there were also bikes from Brompton, Dahon, Apollo and Dawes
I suspect we may have a bigger field if we repeat this next year...
All photos pinched from the club Facebook page - taken by Lois Mansel-Thomas, Carol Fox, Kevin Ollett, Christopher Douglas and Julie Clayton
|Our winner - Graham Collins of Manningtree Wheelers gets aero|
|Super small wheeled Carry Me|
|The smile of a champion|
|Old school - kelly kettle|
|Moulton stowaway - not the fastest 'unfold'|
|Moulton on the move|
|Ride it like you stole it|
|Lanterne Rouge, Malcolm Smith brews up in a tin|